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Vehicles that Offer the Best Values for 2012

January 5, 2012

Just because a car is cheap doesn't mean it's a good value. A low-priced vehicle could end up costing you more over the long term due to depreciation, maintenance, repair and other costs.

So how do you determine which cars have the best value? Luckily, Consumer Reports has done the research and has just released their picks for 2012.

They started with 200 vehicles, separated them into eleven categories, and picked the best values based on 5-year ownership costs, reliability ratings, and road tests.

The Honda Fit was ranked as the #1 best overall value. The small car category overall represented the best value by segment. Case in point: the Chevrolet Cruze came in last place within that group, but it still ranked better than average when compared to all other vehicles.

The following are the best and worst vehicles when it comes to value. If you're in the market for a new car, make sure to include the winners in your consideration and test-drive list.

Best Worst
Honda Fit Jaguar XJL
Toyota Prius Four Cadillac Escalade (base)
Volkswagen Golf TDI (manual) Jaguar XF (base)
Scion xD Mercedes-Benz S550
Toyota Corolla Mercedes-Benz GL450
Scion xB Porsche Cayenne (base, V6)
Toyota Matrix (base, 1.8L) BMW 750Li
Mini Cooper (base, manual) Mercedes-Benz GL350 BlueTec
Toyota RAV4 (base, 4-cyl.) Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Sahara
Mazda3 i Touring Chevrolet Tahoe LTZ (5.3)

Click Here to see the full list of rankings

My Recommendation for Car Shoppers

TrueCar No-Haggle, Edmunds Price Promise, and 1-800 Car Show are the quickest way to see the lowest car prices in your area. These sites show you no-haggle prices from dealers closest to you - and the deals are usually really good. This should be the first step you take when negotiating your car price. Follow this up with my checklist to make sure you squeeze out every last bit of savings.

California Residents - Important:

There is a new online car buying service called Roadster, available only to California residents, which I highly recommend you try - especially if you hate the stress of haggling with a car salesman. They provide an expert concierge who negotiates the price of the car and delivers it to your home with zero hassle - you never have to interact with a dealership. Here is my in-depth review of Roadster and why I recommend it.

- Gregg Fidan

Gregg Fidan

About: Gregg Fidan


Gregg Fidan + is the founder of RealCarTips. After being ripped off on his first car purchase, he devoted several years to figuring out the best ways to avoid scams and negotiate the best car deals. He has written hundreds of articles on the subject of car buying and taught thousands of car shoppers how to get the best deals.

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